• UFC on Fox 2

Sonnen would be stupid to overlook Bisping - Maia

ESPN staff
January 19, 2012
Demian Maia is heading for a fight with Chris Weidman © Getty Images

Demian Maia has warned Chael Sonnen not to underestimate Michael Bisping at UFC on Fox 2, telling the American to study closely the small list of Bisping's conquerors.

Maia was all set to fight the Briton before a Mark Munoz injury caused a huge change to the January 28 card. Bisping will now fight Sonnen, while Maia takes on the talented Chris Weidman.

Sonnen has opened up with the bookies as a huge favourite over Bisping, but Maia has nothing but respect for The Count. In his eyes, Bisping is one of the best in the business at securing victory by any means.

"They underestimate Bisping, but who defeated him so far?" Maia asked in an interview with Tatame after finding out his fight had changed.

"Rashad, from a different division, Wanderlei [Silva] and Dan Henderson… only Henderson knocked him out. The others won by points.

"And by points is hard because he's very strategic. He always finds a way for the win… The guys say he's easy, that he has no punch, but you don't need a punch, he only needs to win the fight."

Commenting on fresh challenge, Chris Weidman, Maia insists he should be given identical credit for defeating him as he would have got for beating Bisping.

"Honestly, now the fans know more and more about the sport and know he's a really tough guy and they'll worship this fight as much as if it was Bisping," summarised Maia. "In the old days they would worry a lot about a name, but the guy's undefeated: on a run, seven fights, a high level wrestler. It doesn't change much."

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